Shanghai becomes the first mainland city to grant permission for foreign maids to legally work in China, while around 100,000 are already working in the country illegally.
The Shanghai municipal government on the central coast has allowed foreign professionals to legally hire foreign domestic helpers to look after children and clean homes.
A 44-year-old Filipina became the first foreign domestic helper granted a one-year residence permit. She is now working for the family of a chief executive at a biomedical firm based in Shanghai.
Allowing the hiring of foreign domestic helpers is a policy intended to better retain talented professionals in scientific research and technology industries in the city. As of Thursday, a total of 478 foreign professionals were working in Shanghai, Ta Kung Pao reported, citing local government data.
The number of foreign domestic helpers in Shanghai is expected to rise, given the strong demand where maids can earn 6,000 yuan (US$870) per month on average, which is 60% higher than the HK$4,210 minimum wage for domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
At present, only the Exit-Entry Administration Office of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau in Pudong can process applications.
In addition to Filipinos, maids from Indonesia and Thailand are also expected to be in demand.